April 17, 2006

Okay, this question was very hard for me, and I don’t know if this is the right answer.

I don't know exactly what TAQ stands for but I think that the T and the A stand for Thermus aquaticus, but then I also found something on Taq pol which stands for Thermus aquaticus polymerase. It is often used in polymerase chain reaction, since it is reasonably cheap, and it can survive PCR conditions. Taq is rarely used for molecular cloning of PCR fragments, and is now typically used for checking for the presence and size of a PCR amplified product. It can amplify a 1kb strand of DNA in 30 to 60 seconds at 72°C. Taq DNA polymerase replaced E. coli DNA polymerase because of the temperature conditions of PCR. In 1969, Thomas Brock and Hudson Freeze of Indiana University reported a new species of thermophilic bacterium which they named Thermus aquaticus. The bacterium was first discovered in the Great Fountain region of Yellowstone National Park, and has since been found in similar thermal habitats around the world.

Emily Harris, Billings West High School